The Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aircraft would fly via Oman and Iran to Kyrgyzstan’s Capital Bishkek for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, which will be held on Thursday and Friday. The decision came days after reports suggested that Islamabad had “decided in principle” to allow Modi’s plane to fly over its airspace.
Responding to media queries on the route that would be taken by the prime minister, a ministry spokesperson said the final decision to fly via Oman was taken after exploring two options.
Pakistan closed its airspace to Indian aircraft on February 26 after the Indian Air Force’s airstrikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camp in Balakot. The country has opened only two out of 11 routes that go through South Pakistan, according to NDTV. Islamabad has also extended its partial airspace ban on the eastern border with India till June 14.
Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan on Monday reportedly “approved in principle” the Indian government’s request to let Modi’s aircraft fly over the country’s airspace, PTI quoted unidentified officials as saying. “The Indian government will be conveyed about the decision once the procedural formalities are completed,” Pakistani officials told the news agency. “The Civil Aviation Authority will also be directed to notify the airmen subsequently.”
On May 31, the Indian Air Force said it had removed restrictions on all routes in the Indian airspace that had been put in place a day after the Balakot airstrikes. The decision was purportedly made as a gesture for Pakistan to remove their airspace restrictions.